2023 Season Preview: Wexford

Manager: James Keddy

Stadium: Ferrycarrig Park

Players in: Aaron Robinson (Longford Town), Mark Hanratty (Longford Town), Ben Lynch (Longford Town), Ethan Boyle (Finn Harps), Karl Chambers (Longford Town), Aaron Doran (Bohemians), Matthew Dunne (Longford Town), Jordan Adeyemo (Longford Town), Conor Levingston (Bohemians), Colm Cox (Longford Town), Hugh Douglas (Bray Wanderers), Brandon McCann (Longford Town), Danny Furlong (North End United), Harry Curtis (Waterford U19)

Players out: Jack Doherty (Cobh Ramblers), Conor Barry (Treaty United), Dinny Corcoran (retired), Paul Cleary (N/A), Conor Crowley (Bray Wanderers), Luka Lovic (Bray Wanderers), Harry Groome (Bray Wanderers), Conor Davis (Bray Wanderers), Ger Shortt (Bray Wanderers), Alex Moody (Bray Wanderers), Eoin Farrell (Bray Wanderers), Len O’Sullivan (Bray Wanderers)

Extratime.com Key Man: Ethan Boyle

Boyle is set to be one of the most prominent signings for Wexford in recent years as he returns home to his native county.

The former Waterford, Shamrock Rovers and Finn Harps star has over 200 senior League of Ireland appearances under his belt and is well capable of a goal despite being a right-back.

The 26-year-old has represented Ireland at underage level and has been named Wexford’s captain for the upcoming season.

Fans are already thrilled with his pre-season performances and he is sure to be rock-solid in his defensive duties throughout the campaign.

Extratime.com One to Watch: Jordan Adeyemo

Adeyemo is tipped to be a huge name for Wexford this year and has already notched a superb hat-trick on his debut in a 3-1 win over St. Patrick’s Athletic in the Leinster Senior Cup.

The forward scored nine goals in 13 appearances last season for Longford Town and has been on the roster at Galway United and Drogheda.

The 22-year-old is lightning quick and highly rated, so is sure to be pivotal in Wexford’s attack this season.

How they did last season:

League: Wexford had an impressive run of form last season, particularly towards the end of the campaign where the squad were fighting it out with Treaty United for a play-off spot.

An impressive 38 points was racked up in total, but they fell just short of a chance at Premier Division football and finished in sixth, just six points behind their Limerick challengers.

There were some fantastic performances in 2022, especially against South East rivals Waterford, including a breezy 3-1 win at the RSC.

 An injury to star man Jack Doherty mid-season blighted their hopes slightly, but the remainder of the squad stepped up to the plate and were impressive throughout.

Ian Ryan clearly saw plenty of potential and quality in the players, bringing a number of them into his Bray Wanderers squad for 2023.

FAI Cup: A tricky first round draw away to Sligo Rovers didn’t dampen Wexford’s spirits. Dinny Corcoran’s late equaliser and Ger Shortt’s winner in extra time at the Showgrounds left Ian Ryan’s side to face Dundalk in the next round.

The Lilywhites made the trip to the Sunny South East in August and struggled against an energetic Wexford team who were determined to win. Decorated striker David McMillan gave the visitors the lead before Luka Lovic and Ger Shortt made it 2-1 to the home side.

With just fifteen minutes to go, the visitors levelled the game after substitute Ryan O’Kane found the back of the net, bringing it to extra time.

Robbie Benson struck a penalty in the dying minutes, and it was Dundalk who progressed, but the Wexford side produced some fine football in two very gruelling fixtures.

What to expect this season:

With Ian Ryan’s departure, it was uncertain how Wexford would react after such a successful 18-month stint from the Dubliner in the South East. The club have proved, however, that they are well capable of reaching their potential as a new era dawns for the side.

Some background changes have seen new coaches and staff come in, with James Keddy taking the reigns as manager. In a 17-year playing career, Keddy won Premier Division titles with Derry City, Shelbourne and Drogheda United before becoming assistant manager at Longford and Bray.

There are also some big names added to the roster, with the club’s record goalscorer Danny Furlong returning after a stint away from League of Ireland football.

Harry Curtis and Kaylem Harnett are two youngsters to watch out for, and Wexford native Aaron Dobbs returns after his powerful presence in front of goal last season left him with ten goals to his name in 2022.

There were plenty of new recruits signed over the winter, especially from Longford, with several leaving the squad to follow Ian Ryan, however decent pre-season performances and a victory over St. Patrick’s Athletic in the Leinster Senior Cup will be seen as a massive confidence boost.

This could be a promotion-pushing season for Wexford.

First Game: Home to Waterford, February 17 (kick-off is at 7.45pm).